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Cellular Therapy Pioneer Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD, Joins Roswell Park as Deputy Director and Chair of Medicine


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A leader in the field of cancer immunotherapy has returned to his Western New York roots to take on leadership roles in both research and clinical care at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD, has joined Roswell Park as Deputy Director, The Katherine Anne Gioia Endowed Chair in Cancer Medicine, Chair of the Department of Medicine, and Professor of Oncology in the Departments of Medicine and Immunology.

Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD

Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD

Dr. Brentjens comes to Roswell Park from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where he served as Director of Cellular Therapeutics and Associate Chair for Junior Faculty Development in the Department of Medicine.

“This is a time of tremendous hope and promise,” said Dr. Brentjens, one of a small group of researchers who helped to develop the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved cellular therapies to incorporate the adoptive cell transfer approach known as chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy.

“Cellular therapy is in its infancy, but it’s already dramatically reshaping what we can achieve through cancer therapy,” he added. “We’re starting to master our ability to help the immune system, our own cells, help itself. I’m incredibly excited about the work this Roswell Park team is going to do in the next few years—the time we are going to be able to give back to patients with even advanced cancers, the cures that are within our reach today.”

Fighting Every Variety of Cancer

As Deputy Director, Dr. Brentjens will lead Roswell Park’s basic, translational, and clinical research programs and oversee planning and execution around Roswell Park’s Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute. In his role as Chair of Medicine, he will lead a team of more nearly 100 oncologists, advanced practice providers, and administrators who support diagnosis, treatment, and consultation for Roswell Park patients with virtually every cancer type.

Born in the Netherlands and raised in Buffalo, Dr. Brentjens completed a master’s degree and dual MD/PhD in microbiology at the University at Buffalo. After a residency at Yale New Haven Hospital and a fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/Weill Cornell Medical College, he joined the staff there in 2002. 


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